Kenney preaches party unity

By Geoff Lee

November 8, 2016 12:00 AM

STUMPING Alberta PC leadership contender Jason Kenney spoke to a small gathering of Lloydminster residents Sunday night at the Holiday Inn & Suites following a party policy convention in Red Deer that wrapped up Sunday morning. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Alberta Conservative Party leadership contender, Jason Kenney continued to throw punches in Lloydminster to score points for his plan to unite the Tories with the Wildrose Party.
The PC leadership hopeful spoke to a small crowd at the Holiday Inn & Suites Sunday night fresh from promoting his unity plan at a party policy convention in Red Deer that ended that morning.
“We had a huge turnout; we had a huge support for my campaign —we won all the resolutions,” said an animated Kenney.
He said his camp defeated two carbon tax resolutions and defeated an effort to take power away from the elected party leader and give it to an unelected board.
He said he got a resolution adopted for school choice and parental authority in education.
“We elected the youth association that supports uniting Alberta,” he added.
“It was a fantastic day showing the vast majority of people want us to move forward united.”
Kenney, a former Conservative MP is the only leadership candidate who supports a unity party.
His five opponents including MLAs Sandra Johnson and Richard Starke and former PC cabinet ministers Donna Kennedy-Glans and Stephen Khan and Calgary lawyer Bryon Nelson oppose uniting with Wildrose.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean has stated he rejects Kenney’s plan and is trying to bring conservatives into his own party. 
Despite there being no motion for unity in Red Deer, Kenney said, “I think Brian is open to it, but it takes two to tango and he’s waiting for a willing partner on the PC side.
“I’m trying to get the PC party on a unity track.” 
Kenney however, says 80 per cent of the grassroots Wildrose and PC supporters are telling pollsters they want to see the parties unite in a free enterprise party.
His goal is to create a free enterprise party to defeat the provincial NDP in the next general election in 2019.
Kenney wants to create an Alberta version of the Saskatchewan Party and a provincial version of the federal PCs.
“We can’t afford a risk of a second NDP term,” he said.
“The best way to defeat them is to unite just like they have done in Saskatchewan.”
He said Lloydminster is a place that is a perfect example of how Saskatchewan’s doing better than Alberta.
Kenney said Saskatchewan is more dependent on oil and gas than Alberta, yet unemployment in Saskatchewan is a quarter less than it is on the Alberta side.
“The difference is the government,” he said.
“You’ve got a free enterprise government in Saskatchewan that’s open for business and encouraging investment and a socialist government in Alberta that’s against business and investment.”
Kenney is the only leadership candidate opposed to any provincial or federal carbon taxes calling the NDPs’ plan the biggest tax hike in Alberta history.
“It is all economic pain with no environment pain,” he told the Source last week.
“It’s going to put us at a huge competitive disadvantage as an economy that is dependent on carbon intensive industries.”
He said this why Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall is fighting the federal Liberal carbon tax tooth and nail.
“They know it’s going to hit their economy disproportionally,” said Kenney.
“It’s going to hit us even more—that’s why I make no bones about my opposition.”

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